California Drought: Executive Order Limits Water Usage

Ongoing and extreme drought in California led the Governor to declare a State of Emergency on April 1st, 2015. Executive Order B-29-15 ensued.

Seemingly, the worst drought in the State’s history, California needs to recover water amounting to 11 trillion gallons. The Order requires a reduction in water usage by water suppliers and residential and commercial users.

The State Water Resource Board issued regulations that are effective from May 15th, 2015 until February 28th, 2016. The main points concern:

Standards: Urban Water Suppliers

Section 10617 of the Water Code defines Urban Water Suppliers as retailers who:
– deliver a minimum of 3,000 acre feet of water per annum
– provide service to a minimum of 3,000 customers each year

Urban water suppliers can decide how best to achieve the following conservation standards imposed by the Water Board:

• Reduce water usage by 25 percent from now until end-February, 2016.

• Modify the amount of water delivered to commercial agriculture if current delivery amount exceeds 20 percent of total water production. Written certification must be made to the Water Board.

• They must report all water savings to the Water Board on July 15th, 2015.

Standards: Smaller Water Suppliers

• Small water suppliers service fewer than 3,000 customers each year. They must:

• Conserve water by 25 percent

• Restrict irrigation of ornamental landscape to two days weekly

On December 15th, 2015, small water suppliers must provide one-off reports to the Water Board, detailing their total potable water production between the months of June to November 2013 and June to November 2015 along with details of their conservation efforts.

Our Coachella Valley government legal counsel can assist municipalities with any concerns and communication to the public.

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